Your pizza needs to hear from you
You’re ready to go to market! You’ve got the product or service, the proof that it works and adds value as well as a vague idea on where you want to sell it! It’s incredibly exciting!And then…the phone doesn’t ring, nothing is moving and you don’t understand why your ‘customers’ are not chomping at the bit to buy, buy, BUY!
Unfortunately this is all too often the reality for many new products and services, especially for smaller start-ups that have spent too much time convincing themselves their offering will sell and not enough time understanding how to sell it and what to say when they get the opportunity to do so. This is the critical part of any market demand strategy – how do you describe your product/service in a way that influences the decision to purchase?This is where messaging comes in. Now I know this term may seem rather esoteric to many so I’ll break it down.
Think of the market as a pizza (the purchasing pool filled with potential customers) and on this pizza there are loads of different toppings (competitors) and you’re unfortunately, the lonely olive (your brand). Sparsely placed, haphazardly across the pizza and you’re definitely not the hero topping, you’re not even the most liked. Sometimes you are even picked off the pizza and discarded like old socks.The point about this hunger inducing metaphor is this: like with toppings on a pizza they are chosen based on the likes of people. Someone might like pepperoni but hate olives, going for the pepperoni instead of the olive, every time. But what if someone told this person that the olive is actually really good and that their argument, or message, was compelling enough? They try it, they like it, you score!
This is messaging. Someone said the right things, things that convinced someone to olive and not to pepperoni. And when word starts to spread about olives, you’ll soon start seeing more olives on the pizza, and the pizza will start to realise the importance of olives and that they’re great!The key thing here is understanding what it is that your market wants to hear about your product or service. And let me tell you, this is the hardest part. Too often in several sectors the pizza can get a bit crowded and its up to your brand to find a way to stand out of the crowd.
Here are some questions – the answers to which will help you start this journey and hopefully get you thinking about what it is you need to say to your pizza.1. If your brand is a super hero, what’s your super power? What is it that your offering does better than anyone else?
2. What have your customers said about your offering that made them want to purchase it?
3. Listen to the referrals – when people recommend your offering, what do they say?
4. What are the gaps between what your customers/ referrers are saying and what you think they should be saying?
What you find from this study is a basic understanding of what your brand messages should be. You’ll find that this provides either a validation of what you have been saying already or an opportunity to relook and reassess. Good luck!